Nord Nord Ovest (North North West)
signed and dated 'Giovanni Anselmo 1978' (on the reverse)
pencil on paper laid on canvas
36.5 x 36.5cm.
Executed in 1978
Private Collection, Belgium.
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Lot Essay

'I have been making works using the idea that they are either time, in a broad sense, or infinity, or the invisible, or everything, perhaps simply because I am an earthling and for this reason limited in time, space and specifics' – Giovanni Anselmo

Giovanni Anselmo’s work articulates the hidden, often unseen, forces and energies that determine and control the nature of the world we live in: forces such as gravity, magnetism, torsion, and above all, entropy and time. Using the simplest of means, Anselmo creates works of art that aim to serve as a kind of bridge between our understanding of an infinite cosmos and our daily, individual, human experience of the specific and the here and now.

In 1978, Giovanni Anselmo had a personal exhibition at Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, titled Un particolare a sud, trecento milioni di anni a ovest nord-ovest, quattordici disegni intorno. Initially sixteen works were intended to be shown, but since two would have had to be placed where the gallery windows were, only fourteen works were included in the show.

‘The pictures made with pencil on paper, stuck onto cloth and fixed to a frame, represent a magnetic needle orientated in the natural direction of North-South, around which Anselmo has drawn sixteen points of view. Their disposition and their orientation on the walls are determined by the magnetic needle of the work Direzione which they refer to, and which they are placed around. Direzione therefore determines, on the one hand, the orientation of the works in space and on the other, works through a motion space orientated towards all cardinal points’ (J.-C. Ammann, Giovanni Anselmo, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Basel, Basel/Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1979).

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